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Daily Art Fix : !850s Painting on Mica

Antique Indian Company School Mica Painting

The base material is fragile – yet some of these paintings have been preserved for over 150 years!

Patronised by the imperial rulers – the East India Company – the art evolved from mughal miniatures to become simpler. The subjects were usually lifestyles – describing either local professions or costumes or traditional festivals. These depictions often provide minute cultural insight into the habits & customs of the people of that era.

For instance, this painting reveals the clothing style of musicians of the time. We know that every profession wore their turban cloths tied differently to announce their profession and this image when compared to the images of other professions confirms this. [see an older article on turbans here]. Also revealed is the use of the red sash as a support for the instrument!

Many have gouache that has chipped off from the mica – but some are still found in perfect condition and are a pleasure to behold with their vibrant colors and detail!

View this and other mica paintings here.

jm

April 2015

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